Kyrgyzstan

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Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz Republic

Asia

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Geography

Area: 198,500 sq km

Central Asian state in Tien Shan mountain range bordering on China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Most land area is mountainous.

Population: 5,550,239    Annual Growth: 1.23%

Capital: Bishkek

Urbanites: 36.6%

HDI Rank: 120 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)

Peoples

Peoples: 47 (57% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Krgyz; Russian    Languages: 32 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Muslim

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr
Christians292,4985.27-1.2
Evangelicals40,1520.74.3
Muslim4,924,72788.73 

Prayercast

Answer to Prayer

The Church grew impressively in the first years after the nation’s rebirth. It has since slowed in numbers but is maturing. Despite the laws, Kyrgyzstan still has more religious freedom than many neighbouring countries. Bible translation and resources (literature, electronic, radio and TV) have all been developed, though there is room for further growth.

Challenge for Prayer

The people of Kyrgyzstan continue to have the chance to hear of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that the harvest may continue and increase. Pray down the barriers to a people movement.

a) History. For centuries, foreigners have ruled the Kyrgyz and imposed their foreign religions – since the 8th Century foreign armies of various nations brought Islam; Russians in the 19th Century brought Orthodoxy and then imposed Communism in the 20th. Christianity is sadly associated with the occupiers who slaughtered many of the Kyrgyz people's ancestors and also with the West (and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq).

b) A resurgent Islam. The vast majority of Kyrgyz are culturally Muslim, but practice and understanding of Islam are low. Northern Kyrgyz are more Russian-influenced, but southerners are more traditional and Islamic. Muslim missionaries (200 registered, many more unregistered) from several nations seek to strengthen and purify Islam. Around 2,000 mosques and prayer rooms were built between 2000 and 2005, mostly funded by foreign money. The close association of Kyrgyz cultural identity and Islam makes becoming a Christian a difficult decision; the same holds true for other Central Asian peoples.

c) Shamanism and ancestor worship are significant forces beneath the façade of Islam. Fear of the “evil eye”, use of amulets, the occult and demonization are widespread. Shamans still wield great influence.

d) Kyrgyz nationalism has grown as Russian influence declined, although the Russian language serves as the vehicle of social intercourse among the 80 people groups of the country in all spheres of life. Most minorities do not speak Kyrgyz. The conflict between Kyrgyz and Uzbek in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 demonstrated that all is not well in this post-Soviet multicultural society. It desperately needs healthy new ideas to fill the vacuum left by communism.

     For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Kyrgyzstan.